The goal for designers of embedded systems is to achieve appropriate product performance at the lowest possible cost. In order to avoid over-specification, system designers need to strike a balance between allowing sufficient design headroom while still taking into account potential respin costs and silicon expense.

Selecting the most appropriate microprocessor to achieve these goals is a critical part of the design process. This article discusses how the characteristics of the CPU are just one small part of a puzzle that also includes complex debug requirements, system level architecture and integration capabilities.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 2, No. 1